Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: AWAY

Photo: Maryna Rothe

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Away is quintessentially an intelligent theatrical play for a ‘thinking audience’, a brilliantly written, multi-layered production written by Australian playwright Michael Gow which boasts an ensemble cast of thirteen.

This absorbing play, set in 1967 when social change was prevalent, deals with death, racism, class and family relationships and has fared well over the passage of time, still as endearing and relevant today as it was in the 60’s.

The story deals with three conflicted families holidaying on the coast over the Christmas season, hoping the demons they face will be resolved.

The first family is fronted by a headmaster and his wife whose marriage is falling apart as they grieve the son they lost in Vietnam; Roy is the focal character in the second family, a student who knows he’s dying of leukemia even though his parents are yet to tell him; and the third family have a young daughter named Meg who has a flourishing mutual affection for Roy.

The passing of a storm brings all three families on the beach where their discord is explored and ultimately resolved.

Audiences will be captivated by the authenticity of this production, especially those who experienced life in the 60’s. Memories will be rekindled of the dangerous addiction women had to ‘Bex’ powder, the birth of the permissive society, the White Australia policy, and the importance of materialism all mirrored in this play.

Audiences will be transported to this idyllic holiday coast, their imagination spawned by simplistic but affecting staging, clever lighting and wonderful performances.

The ongoing humour is a welcoming relief from the barrage of emotions that explode on stage and successfully maintains interest in what could otherwise have been a mundane and exhausting dramatic experience. (MMo)

***1/2

Jun 22–25, various show times. Seymour Centre, Cnr City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale. $42. Tickets & info: seymourcentre.com or  9351 7940

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